Hangovers are nature’s way of telling you that you had a good night last night, which is quite handy really, as given that memories of the night before the hangover kicks in generally end in blissful, ignorant unconsciousness long before you actually manage to make it to bed, it’s normally the only clue that you did get up to anything last night, and also provides a handy indication that you’re still alive and capable of feeling pain, no matter how much you might wish otherwise.
The hangover normally starts in a deceptively normal way. There’s a brief moment of unawareness when all you’re aware of is a slight dryness to the mouth and a fogginess in the head. Savour this moment, it doesn’t last for long, as reality quickly kicks in, and reality has chosen its best steel toe-capped boots to do the kicking with, and those kicks are aimed firmly at your head. At this point you may be tempted to reach straight for the paracetamol. Don’t. Partly because swallowing headache tablets when you have a raging hangover is about as much help as a small glass of water when your house is on fire, but mainly because you will shortly be making a trip to the bathroom to empty the entire content of your stomach into the toilet so it’s a bit of a waste. That’s if you’re lucky, of course. If you’re unlucky you’ll have emptied your stomach somewhere between your bedroom and the toilet. If you’re really unlucky you’ll have emptied your stomach while lying in bed and before you actually woke up. This is unpleasant.
Unfortunately ‘unpleasant’ is going to be the theme for the rest of the day, as you spend what little hours remain after your comatose slumber interspersing dashes to the bathroom, either for water or to expel the water you’ve previously drunk from system in a less than traditional manner, with lying fitfully in your stinking bed, hoping desperately and genuinely for the ceiling above to fall in and land on you, putting an end to the horror you’re experiencing. Unfortunately this rarely happens.
There are some hangover cures which can make the experience more pleasant, in much the same way as being attacked with a baseball bat is a more pleasant experience than being hit around the head with a length of lead piping. Unfortunately most of them rely on you being suitably unhungover enough to actually face getting up and cooking a fry up, swallowing anything whatsoever or actually leaving your bed, so aren’t really much good for a proper hangover. The only one that does work is to perform some DIY brain surgery and, using the sharpest implement you can lay your hands on, slicing out a large chunk of your cerebellum. While extreme, this does work, and does about the same damage to your thought processes as the cast quantities of alcohol you drank to get yourself into this state in the first place.